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WFW advises NAB on US$140.2m JOLCO financing25 May 2021

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Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised National Australia Bank Limited (“NAB”) as agent on behalf of the lenders on the US$140.2m Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (“JOLCO”) in respect of two 325,000 dwt VLOC newbuild.

This ground-breaking transaction represents the first JOLCO involving a joint venture between ICBC Leasing and China Merchants Energy Shipping, with the vessels in question commissioned for a long-term contract of affreightment with Brazilian conglomerate Vale.

The WFW Asia Assets & Structured Finance team that advised NAB was led by Singapore Partner Mehraab Nazir, supported by Counsel Lizzie Roe, Associate Julia Sim and Legal Manager Arrow Zhang. WFW New York Partners Daniel Rodgers and Daniel Pilarski, assisted by Associate Elina Kremen, provided Marshall Islands and Liberian law advice. Partner Madeline Leong, Counsel Valerie Lee and Associate Simon Lin led on the Hong Kong law aspects of the transaction.

Mehraab commented: “This deal sets a precedent for JOLCOs in the shipping industry and highlights WFW’s unparalleled expertise in this space. We are delighted to have been involved in such a significant deal”.

NAB Director of Asset Finance & Leasing Quincy Chan said: “It has been a pleasure to have worked with WFW on this noteworthy deal, particularly in such a challenging year as 2020. It demonstrates the full commitment of all the parties involved in times of crisis and the resilience of the shipping and ship finance industry through market cycles and global events”.

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